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Golden Nuggets: Cal FB One of the Most Improved Recruiting Teams In 2018

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Women’s Basketball looks to improve this weekend.

NCAA Football: California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Football

  • Rivals (the national site) has Cal as one of their most improved teams from 2017 to 2018 based on recruiting rank. (43rd this year after finishing 75th a year ago)

The Golden Bears put together a very solid class, and in the process moved up 32 spots from their 75th class ranking last year. A class heavy on offensive linemen and linebackers, two of the top-ranked players are actually four-star wide receiver Nikko Remigio and four-star cornerback Chigozie Anusiem, while four-star Will Craig brings plenty of athleticism to the offensive line. With 16 of their 21 signees coming from California, the Golden Bears and coach Justin Wilcox continue to try and make a deeper impact in their home state, which they definitely accomplished with this class.

Since becoming head coach at Cal, recruiting in the Bay Area and Northern California has been a strong point of emphasis for Justin Wilcox. He and the Cal football staff are laying the groundwork to keep the local talent at home and in the Blue and Gold.

”There’s no reason why the local guys shouldn’t be coming here,” Wilcox said. “There are really good football players in the Bay Area, Northern California and the West Coast. Their friends and family can come watch them play here. There’s that sense of community, which I think is really important. At the same time, we have a national and a global brand, so there are going to be times when we go to Indianapolis or Arizona for a recruit, but we want to build our team from the inside out right here in the Bay Area. There are a lot of people that we think can fit our profile locally.”

It’s an asset in establishing name recognition at the national level when a college football roster boasts talented local players. Excitement is generated in the community, which expands and makes that program an attractive destination no matter where a player is from.

  • Perhaps it will have its own article, if it hasn’t already, but the Spring practice dates were announced, including the “Spring Game” on April 28. March 19th is the “opener”.

Women’s Basketball

Both these articles were published before the Colorado win, but since the Utah game is today and the Bears need to win that one to show that this slump is behind them, I’m posting them anyway. Feel free to comment on that Utah game here.

  • Bears looking to respond to their season’s “low point”.

“We feel like we’re at our bottom, and we want to bounce back from that,” Gottlieb said. “I genuinely feel if I say something critical or harsh or whether we just won a game or just lost, this team is ready to listen to the message, ready to learn and ready to try to do better. This conference is so good that that doesn’t get you a win. Just trying to be better isn’t enough, so I hope we’re also able to execute those things and play with the energy, passion and discipline to win games.

“I do think this is a team that hears me and is trying to rally from this low point.”

  • Published before I even started the last GN, but I just plain missed it. Michelle Smith of Pac-12 Networks interviewed Asha Thomas.

“When I was younger, I thought I wanted to get away, to go to the east coast,” Thomas said. “I thought it would be better exposure and all that.”

Thomas’ older brother Quentin, who is 11 years her senior, played at North Carolina, playing in the kind of supercharged, basketball-crazy settings that Asha imagined herself playing in one day. It was an experience that Thomas said “brightened my eyes.”

But it turns out that Thomas got everything she needed by staying home.

“I still have good exposure. I get to play against future (WNBA draft picks), it’s a 10 or 15-minute drive home when I want a meal, or if I’m struggling and I just want to have family around,” Thomas said. “And I get to see the impact I have on other local kids who come to watch the games. You are a role model to them, regardless of how you perform. That’s been one of the best things about it.”

Misc.

  • BASE: Tanner Dodson and Andrew Vaughn were honored once again, being placed on the 2018 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. This award is given to the best amateur (high school + college) baseball player and is awarded after the CWS. Only 9 other schools had 2 players or more on the watch list.
  • Men’s soccer signed eight players during the National Signing Day period. Learn more about them here.
  • WLAX: Cal looks down memory lane and has an article on Lacrosse’s first ever game against Stanford (varsity level) which was a Golden Bear upset win at home.
  • VB: Daily Cal wrote about Antzela Dempi and her journey from Greece to Cal. Although she is graduating in December from Haas School of Business, she finished up her fourth and final season with volleyball last fall.
  • WGYM: Did you know today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science? Learn more about Astrophysics from someone who studies it, and that would be Sofie Seilnacht, one of the stars (no pun intended) on the gymnastics team.

Go Bears!